Big Man Japan
Beleaguered superhero Masaru Daisato is
having a tough time of it. The last of a long line of protectors, he is
shunned by a modern age that no longer wants or understands his kind.
He lives alone, rarely sees his ex-wife and daughter and the TV show
which details his exploits has been relegated to a 2:40am slot. On top
of all that, heís running out of monsters to fight. Possessed of an
ability to transform into a 30-metre tall giant just like his ancestors
before him, the scruffy, unemployed Daisato nonetheless feels an
overwhelming urge to protect his homeland from an increasingly bizarre
assortment of gigantic supervillains.
Nimbly brought to life by renowned Japanese
comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto, the character of Daisato is one of the most
likeable, memorable and pathetically pathos-laden superheroes of recent
memory. Shot in mock-documentary style, the film functions as both a
wry send-up of the monster movie genre and a dextrous, emotionally
beguiling pastiche of everything that makes it great. Itís a deft and
near-flawless international debut from Matsumoto, who also wrote and
directed the feature, and a fun, engaging and genuinely unique entry
into the canon of 21st-century Japanese cinema.
Audio & Video
Big Man Japan is one of the more
colourful, vibrant outings of recent memory, and Madmanís crystal-clear
16:9 anamorphic widescreen transfer looks fantastic. Interspersed with
the documentary footage of Daisato are hilarious black and white
newsreels of his revered superhero grandfather, and some intense,
near-hallucinogenic fight sequences that rival anything ever captured in
Godzillaís Showa heyday. The set also features a richly resonant
Japanese 5.1 soundtrack, and all up this highly enjoyable film both
looks and sounds impeccable.
Teaser and theatrical trailers of the main
feature, and promotional trailers for Monkey Magic, L: Change
the World, Black Belt and the wondrously kitsch, criminally
overlooked Cutie Honey.